Bobby Vernon was a popular early film comedian who, his obituary noted, “knew custard pies when custard pies were custard pies.”
The sudden death of the 5ft-2” actor of a heart attack during filming shocked Hollywood, but he’d already left his mark on his fellow comedic actors: He found out that huckleberry pies squashed more easily than custard pies and used them often in his routines.
Son of noted actress Dorothy Vernon whose birthname was Silvion Jardins, Bobby started out as a runner for comedians Kolb and Dill. When Dill broke his leg, they called in Vernon, who then became an actor. He worked for famed producer Thomas H. Ince alongside Gloria Swanson in his early years and later became a star in his own right at Universal Pictures. He would also make pictures for the Christie brothers and Mack Sennett.
In 1933, Vernon gave up acting and turned toward the one thing he knew – writing gags. He became a comedy writer for Paramount, his occupation until his unexpected death.